It is a Crime Stoppers success story of the first order. Our reports stopped this duo's crime spree here in Tennessee and North Georgia. Your good information lead to their arrest on the other side of the continent. "This is absolutely a success story," said Chattanooga Police Officer Mark Frazer. "A big thank you to our community for reaching out to us."
For three weeks in a row in August, we featured the dangerous, armed couple. They hit several stores across the Tennessee Valley, a Cricket Wireless in Brainerd and Rugged Wearhouse locations in Chattanooga and Fort Oglethorpe among them. One of them, usually the woman, would keep a clerk occupied while the other pulled a gun on the manager and made them empty a store safe.
"We were able to put enough pressure on these people that they didn't feel comfortable hanging out in Chattanooga, anymore," Off. Frazer added. "We scared them off the streets using Crime Stoppers. We pushed them out of our town, but they couldn't get away."
It turns out the man was from Michigan. He had teamed up with a woman from our area and, thanks to you, they were tracked down to a California motel. "We had a phone call from an upstanding citizen who was able to help us identify one of these people," Frazer explained. "I passed that along to our robbery investigator. Robbery investigators did an incredible job following up on this and they were able take that information and actually get warrants on the two individuals that we identified. With the help of the US Marshals Office, our Fugitive Division was able to track this couple down to Rosamond, California. That's about 80 miles north of Los Angeles."
Their guns and some children were present in the motel room. "They've been identified and they have been arrested in California," Frazer continued, "and the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office is working, now, to secure their return to the Chattanooga area where they can face some Tennessee justice."
The capture of this couple is likely to solve and close four to five armed robbery cases around this area. Thinking they could have been treating this life of crime as their occupation, their pictures and details have been shared nationwide. "There's a great chance, if you came from Michigan to Tennessee and then went from Tennessee to California, they probably completed some robberies in between all of the stops," postulated Frazer.
The long and short of this case is that Crime Stoppers pays. It pays in cash, up to a thousand dollars for the tipster in this case, and it pays in making our cities, towns, and neighborhoods safer. Working together with law enforcement agencies, we make a difference. "We can't do our jobs without the community's assistance," said Frazer. "We (CPD) have got 400, almost 500 sets of eyes. "There's 171,000 sets of eyes in Chattanooga with your help. We need your assistance."
If ever you have a tip on a Crime Stoppers case, call: 423-698-3333. If you leave a message, please also leave information on how Officer Frazer may get back in touch with you. He will never ask your name, but he may have one or two more questions to help put the case together.